Unorthodox Writing Tips 19: Yes You Can!
Okay, if you’re reading this, and you’re not writing daily, I have one question for you: Why not?
No, really. Get a pencil and paper and write up all your
excuses reasons for not writing daily. Be it a blog post, a hundred words here or a hundred words there. What is it that’s keeping you from getting words out. Even if you have no intention of showing the world your list of excuses reasons go ahead and write them down.
I did. And I looked at each
excuses reasons. I then looked at that list and started crossing off things that I knew weren’t valid. I don’t have enough time I’m working a lot of extra hours I’m tired I don’t feel good I just don’t feel in the writing mood right now My idea needs time to stew in my brain before I can write it
My writing just isn’t that good
No, seriously. Write them down for me. Let me know what you come up with. Then you cross off anything that’s weak. Like I’m tired. Really? I was last night as well and I still sat my butt in the chair and typed up the words to meet my daily goal. I had been up very late the night before playing poker. That was my choice. And I need to write my words for the day. That’s also my choice. I set a goal and if I let it slip, I’ll fall behind.
Do any of your reasons fall under the list I posted above? Can you start crossing them off and come up with a reason why you CAN write? Stop looking at what you can’t do. Get your brain out of the negative mindset. Get into the positive mindset. You want to write, correct? You just need to give yourself permission and direction. Permission is easy. DO IT!
Direction is a little more difficult. I can’t stress this enough. Write it down. What is your goal? Long term, short term, medium term, write down a goal. Write down what you need to do to reach that goal.
In mid-December I wrote down “I will write 450,000 words in 2012”. Easy enough. How did I plan on hitting this goal? Well, let’s break it down. 450,000/366 (leap year you know) is 1230. 1230 words a day. That’s it.
Well, for me that’s it. It’s become easier and easier to actually hit that goal. One of the things I also wrote to hit that goal was to write a blog post daily. That’s helped more than you can imagine. It is so easy to just sit and type out whatever comes to mind. Words flow out like they’re falling out of my brain. Sure it was painful to start. Take a look back at the early January posts. They’re pretty short, but they’re there. I haven’t missed a day. I won’t miss a day. No excuses.
Writing fiction, now that’s a little bit more difficult, right? NO! IT! ISN’T! Seriously. It’s all about getting into the habit of sitting down every day and writing. I’ve heard this so many times. If you write daily, it’ll get easier. This is true!
How do I know? I upped my goal for Lent. Yes, I know Lent it about giving something up. And in a way, I did. I gave up a little more time to write more words. I’m going for 2000 a day instead of the usual 1230 a day. How have I done? I won’t lie. I’ve missed several times, but I’m going for an average. I’ve got time to get caught up. And I know I will. How do I know? Because I wrote down my goal.
Know what else I did? I’m tracking my goal.That’s right, I created a simple excel spread sheet and I put in the number of words I write each day. Blog posts, short stories, novels, I track it all. The reason I started tracking is to initially stay on track with my annual goal, but it’s become more than that. As I’ve been writing more, I’ve been playing with my excel file more. I had to teach myself a few things and I’ve had fun with it. I nearly lost a day of writing because I was having so much with the conditional formatting. It’s evolved into something that it wasn’t when I started. It’s been the slow accumulation of days that’s made it into what it presently is. Writing words every day does the same thing to your WIP.
So what do you need to do?
1) Write up your excuse list and start coming up with reasons why you should and cross off the why you can’t excuses
2) Write daily. A blog, in a journal, 100 words a day on a story, something, but write daily. If you miss a day, don’t sweat it, start over.
3) Track your progress.
Tracking will show you where you’re succeeding and where you need to do a little work. You can do this. I didn’t think I could, and I am.
Until Next Time!